Farewell, my new lovelies!
The bags are packed, the boarding passes are printed (I still don’t trust those QR dots on my phone) and we’re ready to leave Amsterdam to fly back to family and friends Australia.
There are still a couple of hours left in a late summer’s day, in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. How to spend them? Continue reading
After nine years of renovation, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum will reopen on April 13th. The single best known work is Rembrandt’s Night Watch, his group portrait of the volunteer militiamen who protected the city from evil-doers four centuries ago.
To celebrate the occasion, this entertaining Flash Mob was staged in a Dutch shopping centre, under the banner ‘Onze Helden Zijn Terug’ (Our heroes are back). It’s well worth 1 minute 26 seconds of your time. The modern militia in the video is not sponsored by wealthy burghers; note the ING Bank logos.
Rembrandt’s Nightwatch. Image, Wikimedia Commons.
We’re sorry we missed the event, but we’ll soon be back in Amsterdam to see the original painting in all its glory. We’re likely to stand in front of it for about 1 minute and 26 seconds.
Thanks, Duncan – friend, blogger, and fellow Flash Mob enthusiast – for letting me know about this one.
Hiding behind the colour, the action, the noise and the Where’s Wally-like crowd of the painting most visitors to Amsterdam come to see is a detail I love. Continue reading
Out past the village of Nes aan de Amstel. The 18th century writers Betje Wolff and Aagje Degen, depicted in this little sculpture by Hans Bayens
Cows, dykes, windmills, Rembrandt, locks, churches, appeltaart, a Spinoza connection (no, that’s not a European group-set brand) and roads with no potholes – a perfect little cycling loop out of Amsterdam. Continue reading
This artwork stands in Rembrandtplein, Leiden, the little square opposite Rembrandt's birthplace. Good idea, but I think the master's work was better.
‘You interested in the Royal Wedding, Edwin?’ I asked my friend and occasional cycling partner.
‘Me neither. How about we ride to Leiden?’
‘Sounds good. My mother was born there,’ he said, ‘so I’m half Leidenaar.’
‘Rembrandt was born there too,’ I answered. I’ve been to his house in Amsterdam and the church where he married Saskia in Friesland. I’ve seen his paintings in the Rijksmuseum and the Westerkerk where he’s buried. Visiting his birthplace would complete the set. Continue reading
Crush a few coloured rocks, add oil and alcohol, smear onto canvas and there you have it - a Rembrandt!
In the studio where Rembrandt created The Night Watch, I started at the beginning, learning how to make paint.